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Free Day at Japanese American Museum of San Jose Saturday

San Jose Japantown


If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area and always wanted to visit the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, this is the weekend to do it.


The Museum will host a special open house this Saturday from 1 -3 p.m. Admission is free in honor of the 125th anniversary of San Jose’s Japantown, one of only three left in the United States.


San Jose is often the forgotten J-Town, overshadowed by Nihomachi in San Francisco and Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, but San Jose”s Japantown holds a special significance to many Japanese Americans.

The open house will feature first-hand accounts of Japantown and Japanese American history, including stories about the WWII incarceration and the fight for redress, the experience of Japanese American veterans, farm life in Santa Clara Valley, and stories about old Japantown


Several members of the community will be on hand to tell their stories and to answer your questions.
Among those expected are Kats Hikido, 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran; Art Shibayama, former Peruvian internee at Crystal City Justice Department camp; Jimi Yamaichi, farming expert and Tule Lake resister; Susan Hayase, redress activist and vice chair of the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund; and Tom Graves, author of Twice Heroes: America’s Nisei Veterans of WWII and Korea.


There will also be keynote speeches beginning at 1:30 p.m.
  • Curt Fukuda, co-author of San Jose Japantown: A Journey, showcasing 125 years of Japantown history
  • Connie Young Yu, author of Chinatown San Jose, USA, highlighting Heinlenville Chinatown before Japantown (1887 to 1930s)
  • Robert Ragsac, local Filipino American community historian for the Filipino American community (1920 to 1940s in Japantown)
  • Duane Kubo, award-winning film maker and retired dean at De Anza College, presentation on J-Town Community TV and resources on Japantown history

The regular museum exhibitions will also be open to the public.  A 125th anniversary concert at Wesley United Methodist Church, across the street from JAMsj, begins at 7 p.m. The Wesley United Methodist Church Jazz Band, Ukulele Band and Halau Na Wai Ola will perform. Admission to the concert is $20 at the door. Discounted advance tickets for $15 are available at Japantown retailers including Headliners, Kogura Company, and Biscuits.



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